On 7 April 2017, the Romanian Academy – the Economic, Legal Sciences and Sociology Section – organized the scientific session “Romania in the European Union” in the auditorium of the Romanian Academy. The event was organised following the presentation of the study Romania and the accession to the Eurozone: the question is IN WHICH CONDITIONS!, elaborated under the supervision of the Professor Daniel Dăianu, member of the Romanian Academy.
Mugur Isărescu, President of the Economic, Legal Sciences and Sociology Section, spoke in the Opening Speech about the importance of consolidation of the European Union and implicitly of the Romanian economy. He noticed the efforts undergone by the Romanian authorities and the importance of the nominal convergence noticing that the Romanian economy “fulfils on a cumulative basis the Maastricht criteria without interruption starting from July 2015”.
He reaffirmed the importance of the real convergence underlining that it matters not just how fast the economy grows, but especially how it grows. The adoption of the Euro currency without having a high convergence is a risky process. In the end we must not abandon the idea of accession to the Eurozone, but we must approach this process on a prudent and responsible manner.
In his intervention, Professor Daniel Dăianu made a short presentation of the main elements of the study.
“If Romania would have a sustainable economic growth of 5% average per year, we could reach the Eurozone average in 18 years. The 75% level of the Eurozone average could be reached in 9 years, meaning in 2024”. If Romania would keep its recorded average growth in the period 2000 – 2015, then it would reach the Eurozone average in approx. 27 years, while the 75% of the Eurozone average could be reached in 13 years.
Mr. Dăianu underlined that in order to adopt the Euro currency, we must fulfil certain structural conditions such as the development of the infrastructure, the increase of fiscal revenues that would enlarge the “fiscal area”, the consolidation of the public finances in a sustainable way, the increase of the competitiveness degree through a better production structure, not trough low wages and an adequate financing of education and health.
In accordance with the NBR chief economist, Mr. Valentin Lazea, the Monetary Union accession is the only real alternative in order to avoid to remain at the periphery of the European Union. “Romania has real alternatives to the Eurozone? No. We can stay like we are now, at the periphery of the European Union. There is the risk of being cast away”.
There are important differences between the economic growth models for the Balkan area states, from where Romania is a part, and the countries from Western Europe. “In the Balkans area, the economic growth is based, on a regular basis, on fiscal stimulus. In the Western states, this is based on productivity”. He paid attention to several criteria that must be fulfilled by Romania in order to integrate in the Eurozone, related to nominal convergence, the increase of energy efficiency, the development of agriculture and cultural convergence.
The study is available online at http://ier.ro/sites/default/files/pdf/SPOS_2016_Romania_si_aderarea_la_zona_euro.pdf (only in the Romanian language)
Mr. Mugur Isărescu speech is available online at http://www.bnr.ro/Cuvant-de-deschidere-la-sesiunea-stiintifica-%E2%80%9ERomania-in-Uniunea-Europeana%E2%80%9D-organizata-de-Academia-Romana-15653.aspx (only in the Romanian language)
The audio-video recording is available online at http://www.caleaeuropeana.ro/live-video-7-aprilie-ora-11-00-academia-romana-organizeaza-sesiunea-stiintifica-romania-in-uniunea-europeana/ (only in the Romanian language)
The article was first published in the EIR Newsletter, no. 85 – May 2017